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Jul 1, 2013 07:00 AM

Portable propane stove for a 14 inch wok - will this work?

I do not like trying to use my wok on the glass cooktop, moves around too much plus my vent is not working.

Perhaps a propane one burner set up on the screened in back porch would be better. Have any of you folks used your wok on one of those burners? If so, what brand of burner are you using? Is this a good idea or will I just be buying another boondoggle? Do I need one of those burner rings?

Do you have a unique setup for your wok - please share with us.

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  1. You need to make sure you get a high-output burner. Professional burners can go over 100K BTU but this should be fine (much higher than your cooktop's output):

    1. +1 on high-output. There are two ways to do that: (a) buy a burner that's already set up with the appropriate regulator; or (b) buy an adjustable pressure regulator.

      Those single-burner units in long tripod legs work great, but there's nowhere to sit the wok off the flame. I prefer either this style or the style pictured below.


      2 Replies
      1. re: kaleokahu

        You & Ferret both are correct in your statements about the high output. I just did not think of that.

        I have forgotten that I do have one of those tripod things out in the barn. Bought it a long time ago to have a fish fry. Well, after pricing the 5 gallons of oil needed plus buying the fish & knowing that after one fish fry, the oil is pretty much history, I could buy rib eye steaks for about the same price to grill for my guests. Rib eyes it was.

        There is a pattern here, I do not think these things through & end up wasting money. Fortunately, I have learned to post on Chowhound & you folks can look at things / foods from all kinds of angles that I just don't see.

        Well, after looking at that dusty tripod, I decided it was pretty dangerous for a klutz like me to be shaking a screaming hot wok on. I would tip it over or whatever & as you said Kaleo, where are you going to put the wok? I guess I could get one of those large ceramic floor tiles & set it on a small table or something like that.

        The two burner thing is much more realistic, but again, do I want to spend the extra money for another contraption? Will I need to purchase one of those ring type burners to set my wok on?

        Are you guys using your wok inside or what? I am new at using a wok, have never really used one or cooked any Asian food to speak of & would really like to change my way of cooking. Woking seems much healthier & plus it's a fast way to prepare food.

        Thanks to both of you for your input, I am sad that my idea did not seem to pan out (no pun intended). I thought I could buy one of those table top burners that folks use when camping & call it good - it would be cheap & something I could handle. Yes, I am a lady that has big ideas, small budget & no savy to speak of. Not the best of combinations.

        Back to square one.

        1. re: cstout

          Hey, cstout: "Fortunately, I have learned to post on Chowhound & you folks can look at things / foods from all kinds of angles that I just don't see."

          LOL. More like we've made these mistakes first, and so can spare YOU.

          This (plus a variable pressure regulator) is basically what I use: Is $29 too much?

          NO, DO NOT USE THESE INDOORS. You can easily attain 135,000 BTU, or 4x what a regular *commercial* restaurant hob puts out. You want to use the adjustable regulator to dial DOWN the pressure to something you're comfortable with and is safe. Frankly, keep them several feet from anything flammable.

          I suggest that you START wokking by using a burner smaller than your turkey/fish fryer. The one I linked to will be PERFECT for that, just use the low-pressure regulator, not an adjustable one. Screw around with that, get the hang of it. Those 2-burner stoves are very useful for a lot of things, including camping, so you wouldn't be wasting your money in any event. If and when you feel comfortable and *know* what will singe off your eyebrows, THEN pimp it out and go for the big heat.

          You keep on with your big ideas, too, OK?


      2. If you have a Turkey Fryer Set-up, you can use the propane burner from that, or similar candy stove.t. Also, although not ideal, you can use a butane stove....that's what is commonly used in catering facilities during reception hour.

        1. I have the older version of this stove:

          and have used it a few times for wok cooking. I think it works well, but I also think that I need to learn more about wok cooking. Guess I need to practice some more!

          5 Replies
          1. re: Cheez62

            Perhaps we need to go on youtube & watch various & sundry methods of cooking in a wok.

            I truly envy you Chowpeople for practically living out of your woks, must be a wonderful thing to master this art.

            In fact, I am rather intimidated by that wok. Give me any size cast iron skillet & I can cook in one & keep it stick free with the best of them, but I hover in a corner when that big bowl starts smoking & hissing & demanding me to do something.

            From then on, I lose it - what goes in first, where is the darn recipe - do I need to put a lid on it now? Yikes, the edge of my recipe just caught on fire! Shut the burner off, grab the billowing bomb & run out the back door with it. Where is the *#$$ iron skillet? No use looking for it, some key ingredients are out in the yard totally burned. I keep bologna in the house just for these types of situations. Only problem is, I am getting awfully tired of bologna & wanting woky food more & more. Endless cycle.

            Moving out to the back porch with a propane set up aint going to solve a user problem.

            I throw myself on the floor & beg forgiveness for ever posting this thread & wasting everyone's time & revealing my complete ignorance in wok cooking.

            1. re: cstout

              Get up and pat yourself on the back. You're ahead of most of us here simply by admitting you'd like to know more.

              And you're very funny.


              1. re: kaleokahu

                Everyone, here are some ideas we have not come up with. Cheez62 might be interested.


                Toward the end of the article, they start talking about alternate ideas of making a fire in a fire starter chimney & other methods.

                After reading the article, it dawned on me I could use my barrel type barbecue pit for outdoor woking.

                It is quite large, very heavy, lots of room, plus has its own little attached mini pit that you could start up a fire in without having to fire up the whole pit. I guess it was meant to fry side dishes In or something like that. The mini pit will be what I will try first. I also have lots of wood. Don't know why I never thought of using THAT! I could lower the grate to nearly touching the bottom fire bed. Lots of room to set the wok & if things get out of hand, just slam down the lid, although that in itself is quite heavy.

                Have any of you tried to wok out on the pit? Do you see any pitfalls (another pun) using this method??

              2. re: cstout

                No! You are certainly not wasting our time. First off, kaleo's right, you are funny! Secondly, this just might lead to learning how to cook well with the wok on something better than the damn electric stove in my kitchen. I know that an ample supply of gas heat is better, I just am not sure how to manage it. Add to that some ideas for ingredients, especially sauces, and we may be getting somewhere!
                Here's something I want to try: I often cook outdoors when I can, and love to have family and friends join us on the patio and deck. One thing I'd love to do is to set up a bar, similar to those in the cheap Chinese restaurants around here, where you have a choice of ingredients, and people choose what they want and then it is cooked right there. I can come up with the ingredients, I think, though I am always open to suggestions. But I would love some ideas for different sauces to add, and tips on how to cook the stuff. I seem to run along the edge of burning stuff when I use the wok over high heat - is it the wok? The ingredients? Less oil? More oil? See, these are the things I want to learn!

                1. re: Cheez62

                  This is an old post that you might get some ideas on as far as how combine things for stir fry cooking, what sauces to use & just a lot of good tidbits from a bunch of great people.


                  When I first read your idea for setting up a food bar & letting each guest bring you their meal to stir fry, I started getting jittery just thinking about it. No way can one person get through this alone. You must have a helper. Your aspirations were way over the top. Well, after much thought, I say "why not". You can do it!!!

                  You have a great idea & it should be a lot of fun. Perhaps you could create a new thread asking for some ideas on how to plan this, what basic sauces to have on hand or whatever & asking people to share their experience in having a stir fry party.

                  Looking forward to seeing that thread.

            2. FWIW, Cooks Illustrated recommends that home cooks with standard cooktops/ranges stir-fry in regular frying pans.

              I use a 4qt saucier, also called a chef's pan. Now, if you look for images you'll find that some manufacturers use those terms for shallow pans with wide bottoms and sloped sides. Some have two little handles, some a long handle plus a helper handle. Some also call these shapes skillets, omelet pans, or even saucepans. It would be nice if they could agree on a common nomenclature. The one I mean has a relatively small diameter flat bottom that slopes up to fairly deep (mine is 4") sides. It has a helper handle opposite a frying pan length handle. This pan is a GREAT multitasker. It works very well for stir-frying but can be used for everything from soup to stew to sauteeing.

              1 Reply
              1. re: greygarious

                Greygarious, I would love to have one of those Chef's pans, but unfortunately I am pot poor. Have always admired those pans, but I just don't have anymore room in my little kitchen. Maybe someday if I ever move to a bigger setup, that will be the first thing I want to buy.

                Thanks for posting.